Coffee May Help Fight Most Fatal Skin Cancer Melanoma


Coffee may help fight the most fatal skin cancer, melanoma, according to a recent study of the National Cancer Institute and Yale University. While a cup of coffee during breakfast can sabotage diet and weight maintaining programs, especially with coffee extras, a regular drink of the bean beverage can actually help reduce the risk of melanoma.

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, skin cancer affects more than five million people in the U.S. every year, while melanoma, claims one life an hour. Melanoma is rare, but is the reason for most of the skin cancer deaths. It is said that 86 percent of melanoma is caused by the direct exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet radiation.

Melanoma has shown to be the most destructive of all skin cancers and is often life-threatening due to metastasis, the spreading of cancer cells to other parts of the body. The occurrence of melanoma was attributed to genetics, like the mutations of some genes. The genetic changes trigger the cancer cell growth.

Cancer drugs target the pathways of this spreading process, some of which deliver positive results and prolong the lives of sick patients. In many cases, resistance developed when therapy could not stop the cancer cells any longer, as they find other ways to spread and grow. Melanoma patients who visited for a medical examination often came too late, as the aggressive cancer already formed many metastases and has spread to other parts of their bodies.

As prevention is far better than cure, a study by researchers led by Erikka Lotfield found that drinking coffee may help fight the most fatal skin cancer, melanoma. Lotfield’s team evaluated 400,000 plus participants in about 10 and a half years where melanoma rates were compared to frequency of certain foods.

In conclusion, the team found that a person who drinks the caffeine beverage every day lowers his risk for melanoma. One of the reasons is that coffee has components that affect several molecular pathways which reduce the risk of skin cancer that is UV-related, suppressing cancer formation or carcinogenesis, as well as reducing oxidative stress, inflammation and the cells’ DNA damage.

Coffee has some credible favorable effects to reduce the risk of melanoma. However, more studies are still needed to know the details of how it works in preventing the skin cancer.

While studies have seen the drink as beneficial in fighting against diabetes, tinnitus, other cancers like prostate and even Parkinson’s disease, some studies also showed increased mortality in those who drink more coffee, especially among young people. That is why, researchers are hesitant to give consumers the go-signal to drink coffee.

Coffee is a stimulant and does have a record of causing adverse effects in some people. It is important that individuals should discuss with their health care professional about consuming the beverage before adding it to their daily routine.

As for coffee, which may help fight the most fatal skin cancer, melanoma, Lotfield said that drinking it is also not an excuse to expose oneself to the sun. The most important thing in reducing the risk of melanoma is to reduce exposure to UV radiation.

By Judith Aparri

Science Daily

Photo courtesy of Jen Collins – Flickr License

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